By Ali Younes
Muslims and Islamic organizations across the world condemned in strongest terms, and rightly so, the massacre against the journalists and editors of the satirist French Magazine Charlie Hebdo, even when at the same time disagreed and disapproved with Charlie Hebdo’s insults against the Muslim faith.
Western media acts free of any legal and moral constraints to spread bigotry against Muslims, attack Islam, insults Prophet Mohammad, for no reason other than it can do so in the name of “ freedom of press” and with legal and moral sanction from the political establishments there. To attack Islam and Prophet Mohammad in the name of freedom of press is irresponsible and is a form of racism and intolerance. The way western media treats terrorism and Muslim extremists is akin to someone who is trying to punish a serial killer by going after his elderly parents.
In the minds of millions of decent and law abiding Muslims everywhere in the world, only Islam is treated in such irresponsible and racist manner by the western media.
The real question we should be asking ourselves here is why western media and European governments in their response to terrorism chose to insult and punish Islam and the broader community of Muslims for the actions of few criminals.
More importantly, however,for Muslims, the response to such media attacks and insults should never be through any form of terrorism or murder or violence.
The terrorists who murdered the French journalists were a product of an environment that made the rise of terrorism and terrorist organizations much easier and in some cases facilitated it. Western policies in the region have historically used all kind of brute violence, wars and terrorism to advance its interests and policies in the Middle East. It also used and helped Islamic groups, labeled them as “Mujahideen” when it suited them as was the case in Afghanistan in the eighties, then labeled them “terrorists” when they became no longer useful . The West aided by Arab regimes allowed, and created a nurturing environment and in some cases funded and trained terrorist groups in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen to destroy those countries and then fighting the same terrorist groups it helped create in the first place.
In the twisted minds of deranged terrorists, western policies aided by the western media are waging a war against Islam as a faith and as a religion. For them, “standing up to the faith” through violence and terrorism is a noble mission even if it costs them their lives at the end. The west especially western media should really differentiate between terrorists who happened to be Muslims and using Islam as their vehicle and Islam as a global faith with over a billion adherents.
Just as Muslims say and preach that they should never respond to media insults and cartoons against their prophet and their religion with murder and terrorism, western media should, too, never respond to acts of terrorism by Muslim extremists by insulting Islam and the prophet.
Ali Younes is the Editor of the Arab Daily News. He can be reached at aliyounes@theArabdailynews.com and on twitter @clearaliyounes
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